Who benefits from more efficient energy codes?
Homes and commercial buildings are America’s largest consuming sector of total energy (about 40 percent), natural gas (54 percent), and electricity (71 percent).
Efficient energy codes benefit us all from an economic, consumer, and conservation standpoint. The guaranteed, consistent energy savings they produce mean they are the only codes that pay for themselves!
- On average U.S. homeowners pay about $2,340 per year on energy costs – more than they spend on property tax or homeowners insurance on average. Energy efficiency codes can significantly cut homeowner costs.
- For example, in middle America, home to climate zone 5, Peoria, Illinois, building a house under the 2012 code is saving the average homeowner between $9,870 and $10,080 over the course of a 30-year mortgage, compared to a house built under the 2006 code.
(Note: They also own a better built, quieter, and more comfortable home.)
- A green certification label adds to a home’s selling value.
- According to the National Association of Homebuilders’ home buyers “first and foremost” want energy efficiency. Nine out of ten buyers would rather buy a home with energy-efficient features and permanently lower utility bills than one without those features that costs 2 percent to 3 percent less.
The U.S. economy benefits
- Energy efficiency codes have the power to significantly cut energy bills for us all. The Alliance to Save Energy estimated that if the nation were entirely in compliance with the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code by 2013, consumers and businesses would save about $40 billion by the year 2030.
ICF Analysis: Equipment trade-offs will significantly weaken the IECC
ICF International completed a Review and Analysis of Equipment Trade-offs in Residential Energy Codes, which found that reinstating residential equipment trade-offs would significantly weaken the IECC – which does not allow equipment trade-offs — and significantly increase homeowner energy bills.
The analysis finds that the free-ridership and lifecycle impact of only a single trade-off measure – installation of 90+ AFUE furnaces – would increase national-average homeowner energy costs by 6% to 9% for gas heated homes. Nationally, the 30-year net present value increase in energy bills for homes that trade off a 90 AFUE furnace for a weaker envelope would equal about $400 million ($1.1 billion if this trade-off continued for a single 3-year code cycle).
Builders taking advantage of a wider range of envelope trade-offs for higher efficiency heating equipment, air conditioners, and hot water heaters could increase energy costs by 11-22% for gas heated homes and 3-18% for electric heated homes.